Are you a Hoosier born and bred, or an honorary one who has been attending the Indianapolis 500 for as long as you can remember? Either way, you should know that the Hoosier State offers many classic dishes to sample, from lake perch in the north to persimmon pudding in the south. Here are our top picks of iconic Indianapolis foods and where you can find them.
Pork Loin Sandwich. Indiana's breaded pork loin sandwich is a must-try for any visitor.
It consists of a ton of tender, crumbly roast beef between two slices of white bread, with a spoonful of mashed potatoes in the corner. The sandwich is then topped with a rich, dark meat sauce. The best places to get this sandwich are Gray Brothers Coffee Shop in Mooresville, MacNiven's on Mass Ave. in Indianapolis, and MCL Restaurant & Bakery in central Indiana.
Sugar Cream Pie.
Sugar cream pie is an Indiana classic that was brought to the state by N. C. Quakers in the early 19th century. It features a creamy, buttery cream filling with a touch of nutmeg sprinkled on top.
Wick's Pies, 75, in Winchester is said to bake the most sugar cream cakes in the world, while Pots & Pans Pie Co. offers a browned sugar cream cake that melts in your mouth.
Beef Manhattan. This hot roast beef sandwich is found all over the Midwest, but it is said to have taken off in Indianapolis in the 1940s.
It consists of tender roast beef between two slices of white bread and topped with a rich meat sauce.
Griddle Burgers. Many places in Indiana make hamburgers pressed on a griddle until their edges become crispy umami, but Nick's Kitchen in Huntington is said to be the best.
These small donuts are usually fried from canned cookies and covered with sugar and cinnamon. They should be eaten hot from the fryer and greased with apple butter, preferably homemade. Nashville General Store & Bakery in Nashville, Indiana is a great place to try them.
Corn Dishes. Indiana grows more than a billion bushels of corn a year, so it's no surprise that Hoosiers love corn pudding, corn casserole, popcorn (Orville Redenbacher was a Hoosier), cornbread, and many other corn dishes.
Sweet corn cobs are especially popular at the Indiana State Fair, where they compete with roasted turkey legs for attention.
Triple XXX Root Beer. Triple XXX root beer is an American classic that dates back to the 1920s. Today, its last branch is located in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Elmo's Steak House in Indianapolis has been open since 1902 and is famous for its shrimp cocktail dish.